Israel relations agreed, Donald Trump announces


Sudan's civilian prime minister, Abdulla Hamdok, thanked Trump over the terror designation without mentioning recognition of Israel - a step he had earlier said he was not empowered to take.

"We are concerned that President Trump views foreign policy toward Israel as a series of self-serving transactional deals".

Trump jokingly asked Netanyahu, "Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal?"

The spokesman for Sudan's sovereign council, Mohammed Al Faki told CNN: "We have been formally notified that President Trump has signed the order rescinding Sudan's designation as a State Sponsor of Terror".

"No one has the right to speak in the name of the Palestinian people and in the name of the Palestinian cause", Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement.

Trump casts the effort as a way to strengthen Israel's security, a priority for American Jewish supporters of Israel.

"This is very welcome news, and the Trump administration deserves tremendous credit for this diplomatic success", former US Senator Norm Coleman - RJC national chairman - said in a statement.

Kushner called the normalization deals the start of a "paradigm shift" in the Middle East.

Democratic Majority for Israel, a group that embraces pro-Israel policies close to the establishment pro-Israel community, issued a brief statement applauding the agreement.

Sudan's strongman leader, Omar al-Bashir, was ousted in a military coup in April 2019 after three decades in power. "This is another important step towards peace and stability in the region".

"Today, Khartoum is saying yes to peace with Israel, yes to recognition of Israel and yes to normalization with Israel", Netanyahu said.

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that the formal notification to Congress "follows on Sudan's recent agreement to resolve certain claims of United States victims of terror and their families". The two Gulf states were the first to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

The normalization agreement had been in the works for some time but was finalized when Trump's Mideast peace team, led by Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz, assistant to the president and special representative for worldwide negotiations, visited the region to mark the first commercial flight between Israel and Bahrain and then went on to the United Arab Emirates, according to USA officials. "Kudos to President Trump, Secy of State Pompeo for being catalysts for historic breakthroughs for Arab-Israeli peace accords". "We call upon the Palestinian Authority to heed the wind of change, have a change of heart, choose peace over war, and finally return to the negotiating table", the statement said.

"The leaders agreed to the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel and to end the state of belligerence between their nations", it said, without setting a date.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that he meant to remove Sudan from the list as soon as it deposited $335 million into an account for American victims of terrorism.

Trump, seeking re-election on November 3, sealed the agreement in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Transitional Council Head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, senior USA officials said on Friday.

Experts say Sudan's removal from the list is long overdue and if the country's newfound democratic project is to succeed, it needs all the access to global assistance it can get.

Mr Trump announced the agreement by Sudan's year-old civilian-backed government moments after he formally moved to end the nation's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, achieving a major objective for Khartoum.

Khartoum has since placed the funds in a special escrow account for victims of al-Qaeda attacks on United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Now facing an economic crisis, the transitional government of Sudan under Abdalla Hamdok has welcomed the trade and investment incentives that come as part of the normalization deal with Israel. Gen. Miguel Correa, who has engaged in negotiations with Sudan's interim government in recent weeks, also attended.

After the Six-Day War, which in 1967 saw Israel capture the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the Arab League met in Sudan.

Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.